Sounds of the Sixties: Switch-Off


Phil Swern, Producer of the long-running Radio 2 Saturday morning programme Sounds of the Sixties denies that under his control the show has become more and more oriented to the early Sixties, and the pre-Beatles era.

Phil Swern ought to read the last three weeks’ playlists and try to say that again with a straight face.

These have not only been unbearably imbalanced but also incredibly dull. Dull to the extent that, only a few minutes into the second half of today’s show, I switched off in absolute disgust (and looking at the published playlist, I didn’t miss anything). And I’ve never switched SOTS off early in my life. Considering that I was listening, as I have to do every alternate weekend, on the i-Player, it’s even more of a shock.

I have been listening to this programme for 13 years. It’s not like I’m asking for the early Sixties stuff to be banished (though I’m tempted with a lot of the pre-Beatles stuff, which remind you of just how important the four moptops were). I’m not even asking for a few late-Sixties dominated episodes, antidote though they would be. I just want balance, a fair spread across each programme, and across a series of shows.

My Sounds of the Sixties is being taken away from me by a Producer who refuses to recognise his own musical biases. Given that it’s the only music radio show I listen to each week, I am seriously pissed off at that.

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